Book Review: Day of the Dead Crafts

Day of the Dead Crafts: More then 24 Projects that Celebrate Dia de los Muertos by Kerry Arquette, Andrea Zecchi, and Jerry Virgil

Recommended for crafters or people who want more information about Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead Crafts is both an excellent inspirational and instructional craft book and a good primer on Dia de los Muertos.

The Day of the Dead is a November 1st celebration built around a combination of Spanish, Aztec, and Catholic traditions. The folk art created to honor the dead on this day runs from the simple and elegant to the over-the-top to the simple and heartfelt.

This book provides step-by-steps, stencils, and patterns for 24 projects as well as inspirational photos from folk artists in a range of styles. There is no right or wrong way to create these crafts and the authors encourage exploration and experimentation to find your own style.

This is appropriate for all ages, as long as there’s supervision with scissors and a hot-glue gun. Best of all, it isn’t just a rehash of the same old thing once more.

The Day of the Dead is imprinted on my brain as a very colorful way of celebrating All Saints’ Day. That’s because I’m a recovering Catholic. But it is a little more than that. It’s a way of remembering your ancestors happily. It’s not mourning as much as it is celebrating people’s lives. And I think that anyone can and should honor and remember those close to them. It doesn’t have to be religiously based. I think there’s great benefit psychologically and sociologically in remembering where we’ve come from and sharing those stories to the next generation.

The holiday is becoming increasingly commercialized in the US, so I think having a book that details traditional and contemporary crafts as well as explaining the holiday is an excellent book to have on your shelf.

Highly recommended.

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